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Have you ever noticed how the word ‘treat’ is viewed as being something negative? How we shouldn’t be thinking about, let alone eating a treat? Society has shaped the way we think about food, putting it into two categories: good food and bad food. It’s even common thinking that if you eat a treat, you’ve been bad. Or have you? We don’t think so and believe you should stop feeling guilty and eat that cake!
As a society, we’ve created a culture where we’ve labelled food as being good or bad. This came about because we’re exposed to images of things being natural and perfect. Photoshopped bodies, clean eating people and exercise fanatics, the list goes on. This cycle has trapped most of us to the point that if we eat something we or someone else sees as belonging to the bad food group, we feel guilty. That leads to feeling we need to hide the fact we eat these foods. Any guesses for what comes next? Binging.
Good Food Vs Bad Food – Should We Be Worried?
Should we be worried about this categorising of food? No, and that’s because food is the only fuel we can use to nourish our bodies. Without it, we’d die. If you’re stuck in the cycle of guilt when eating a treat, here are four tips to help you kick that guilt to the kerb:
- Eat It – forget the all or nothing mindset. It’s okay to have a piece of cake with your coffee. Enjoying treat foods in moderation is better for you than avoiding them altogether. By restricting our food types, we create cravings for the foods we’ve forbidden ourselves to eat, which creates emotional stress.
- Eat Mindfully – savour the flavour of that chocolate bar. Enjoy the sensation of the cheesecake in your mouth. Mindful eating is all about paying attention to what you are doing right now. It’s like stopping to smell the roses, but with food!
- Balance Your Food – have your sausage roll for morning tea and enjoy it. Simply replace your afternoon tea biscuit with an apple. It’s all about eating a balanced diet which helps you feel happy about your food choices.
- Be the Boss – you get to pick your treat, as well as when and where to eat it. If you don’t want it, don’t eat it. Save it for when the time, place and treat is right for you. That way you take control of the treat, it doesn’t control you.
Having Your Cake & Eating it Too!
Treats have a place in everyone’s life. They make up a part of a healthy eating lifestyle. Bringing treats into your diet in such a way they don’t make you feel uncomfortable takes time. But by including them over time, you begin to change the way you view treat foods. It’s time to welcome them back into your life and start eating cake again.